Specific Type: Steel, L-shaped, Hypercoaster
Kings Island has been the home of many big attractions over the years. It started with 1972's Racer, which re-established the roller coaster as being popular again. Beast in 1979 smashed records and still reigns as the longest wooden roller coaster. In the eighties, King Cobra brought the stand up coaster to America, and Vortex first introduced 6 inversions on a single track as well as being a giant in its own right. Flight of Fear in the nineties revealed to the world the frightening capabilities of Linear Induction Motors, and Son of Beast for the twenty-first century is still the tallest and fastest wooden coaster, along with being the only one to have contained a loop. Now that Cedar Fair has acquired the park in the midst of it's thirty-year run, The skyline has changed again.
Costing a total of $22 million dollars, Diamondback rules the Rivertown section and the back of the park with the Beast and Vortex as it debuted in 2009. The fire red track with yellow and white supports shall forever dominate the park as being the tallest and fastest roller coaster on the property. Amazingly, for such an influential park as Kings Island has become, it is the park's first ride produced by the Swiss firm Bolliger and Mabillard. The milestone attraction has since become a blockbuster as Cedar Fair finds a way to leave it's mark.
Among the necessities the ride offers are the trains. The thirty-two passenger speed machines possess the same seating arrangement as it's sister ride Behemoth of Canada's Wonderland, where the four-across seating moves two center riders forward of the two outside riders. Furthermore, a yellow and red paint scheme creates the visual aspects of a real diamondback rattle snake, from which the ride gets its name. Among ride features, a hammerhead turn around, air time filled hills, and a splash down where Swan Lake used to dwell round out the 5,282 ft of track.
Riders begin their journey by entering the queue into a wooden-esque station, similar in characteristics as many Rivertown buildings. Future riders get to witness many splash encounters as well as revel in the trains' visual detail as they slither through their cycles. Once the lap bar is secure and the thumbs are up, the feeling of venom, perhaps, adrenalin, works up riders as they rise above the park. The only things taller at this point are the Eiffel Tower and Drop Tower. Once an altitude of 23 stories is reached, guests squeal as they teeter on the edge of a 215 ft, 74 degree decent into the heart of Rivertown. The trains careen passed The Crypt building to the left and railroad tracks to the right as a top speed of 80 miles per hour is reached.
As trees and buildings flash by, the ride regains height as a 193 ft hill is tackled, the second of 10 and one of many times of air time is accomplished. The track so far has headed to the right slightly, but the second dive hauls riders way to the left as the third hill is traveled through. Diving back into the dense Ohio forested hills, the venomous speed demon banks hard right as it rises to its hammerhead turnaround, signature on many Bolliger and Mabillard hyper coasters. Another air time hill runs beneath the 3rd hill which feeds riders into the first partial helix. A sharply banked turnaround to the left, ending with the ride parallel to the first half of the ride and enters the mid course brake run, where people catch their breath, if only for a moment.
Heading over the second drop, the ride makes a bee-line towards Rivertown as it throws riders for two more bunny hills. A drop near the Crypt's plaza places riders into the second partial helix, this time, to the right with the infamous Beast in view. The train levels out as the rails plummet into the first ever splashdown found on a B&M hyper coaster. It shaves off speed, but leaves enough to where the train can meander up the last ascent and into the final brakes. A turn left places riders back at the station.
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